By Jim Saksa (City Paper) – Following the arrest of six Philadelphia police officers on corruption charges, the Committee of Seventy has called for the creation of a powerful and permanent Police Advisory Commission. This permanent commission would replace the current one, which was created by executive order in 1994 by then-Mayor Ed Rendell and has been called “toothless” by critics and “ineffective” by its own commissioners. The Police Advisory Commission investigates allegations of police misconduct and makes recommendations for disciplinary action.
The current Police Advisory Commission oversees Philadelphia’s 6,600 police officers with a staff of four and a $283,000 budget. Compared to the police oversight boards in other major cities, the local commission is tiny. In Washington, D.C., the Police Complaints Board has a $2 million budget for overseeing fewer than 4,000 officers. New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board has a budget of $12.75 million and 167 employees, including about 100 investigators; Philly’s PAC has just two investigators.